‘COMEUP 2021’, Asia’s biggest startup festival, which opened on November 17, 2021, has received much attention. This year the event was organized for offline and online audiences and contrary to the concerns that Covid-19 might hamper the event, all seats at the conference were full. The side events and exhibition booths were full to the brim with visitors. The Global Startup festival witnessed a record pre-registration of around 7,000 people and a total of approximately 28 397 people graced it both offline and online.
If the first day of the event was about resources, the second day was all about sustainability. During the event, product pitching was done by more than 12 COMEUP stars selected after a rigorous selection process scrutinizing 783 startups globally. The open innovation talks were a hit where new startups and budding entrepreneurs learned about the plump sectors with funding from industry tycoons.
Create, Great. Innovation with startups: Samsung Electronics C-Lab
Inkuk Hahn conducted the session as Head of Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics. Its primary role is operating an in-house venturing program, ‘C-Lab Inside’ and a startup acceleration program, ‘C-Lab Outside,’ to incubate creative ideas into meaningful business offerings.
To date, C-Lab Inside has incubated 339 projects and 52 startups have spun off from these projects. In addition, C-Lab Outside has supported 202 external startups to grow their businesses.
Hahn said that since its inception of C-Lab Inside projects, a total of 40 Samsung C-Lab alumni projects have launched as full-fledged startups, independent from the company. He explained how full autonomy is provided to the entrepreneurs under this program with support from Samsung Electronics and emphasized the learning that startups get from innovative failures.
Talking about the C-Lab outside project Hahn said created in October 2018, C-Lab Outside began as a startup acceleration program to vitalize the startup ecosystem. Leveraging the successful experience of C-Lab Inside, C-Lab Outside expands the support to include ideas and innovations from outside the Samsung network. The startups selected for the C-Lab Outside program get financial backing, business collaboration, and opportunities.
Closing the Gap: Cases of Open Innovation at Hoban
The speaker on the topic was Hankyung Won, CEO of Plan H Ventures. Plan H Ventures is a startup investment company funded by Hoban Group, one of Korea’s top 10 construction companies. He is also in charge of the Open Innovation Team in the group.
He said that Plan H Ventures is a seed accelerator that finds and supports fledgling innovative startups to boost research and development in the construction industry. Plan H’s goal is to lead the innovation in the construction industry and open innovation of Hoban Group.
Won said that since 2016 Korea’s rank has been sliding in the global construction business because of a shortage in research and development (R&D). Talking about the global smart city projects, Won said there is immense scope of collaboration with startups in the construction sector.
The Win-Win Approach for both Startups and Pharmaceutical Companies in the Bio/Healthcare Industry
Sengho Jeon, President and CEO of Daewoong Pharmaceutical, spoke about startups’ immense scope in the bio-healthcare industry. He led the globalization of Daewoong by establishing an export and sales network of self-developed new drugs to 100 global countries, getting multinational marketing capabilities, and securing production bases in Indonesia, China, and Vietnam.
To leap Daewoong Pharmaceutical to a global top 50 healthcare company, Sengho focuses on the company’s open R&D strategy by developing future innovative new drugs, cooperating with industry-academic research, expanding joint research with startups, and establishing new technology-based startups.